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How long I should stay in USA to keep my green card valid?

Liberty, NY |

Hi, I am 22 years old and married. I am a green card holder in USA. My wife is staying in Canada with her student visa. I went to Canda in October and returned in USA after staying there for 4 months. How long I need to stay in USA to keep my green card valid? After that if I go back to Canada to my wife, continuously how long I can stay there & how frequent I should come back in USA? Please let me know.

Thank you.

Can I apply for a re entry permit online or do I need to get a lawyer for that? How long it takes to get the permit once I apply for it? If I apply for a re entry permit, is it guaranteed that I will get that? How much is the fee for that?

Attorney Answers 1


You may want to consider applying for a Reentry Permit. Although this will not protect you in terms of applying for citizenship one day, it can help you when you know you're going to have to be outside of the U.S. for a while and don't want to abandon your residency. While absences out of the U.S. for a year or more may be considered to constitute abandonment of residency, even time periods for less than one year may be proof that you have abandoned your residency. Note that when applying for U.S. citizenship, in order to qualify you must be physically present in the U.S. for half of the requisite 5 years and should not be out of the U.S. for more than 6 months.

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